Home > Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4)

Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4)
Author: R.K. Lilley





I've been remade four times in my life.

It is a distinct feeling.  Impossible to mistake.  The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person.  It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable.

I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies and despairingly alone.

It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator.  I'd become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.

The third happened swiftly.  One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul.  Checkmate.

I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.

And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I'd never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.



Four days.

Ninety-six hours.

Five thousand, seven hundred and sixty minutes I waited for her to wake up.

And every second of those long minutes I suffered.

There was no numbness to be had.  Not one merciful second of disconnect.  I felt each one of those days, those hours, those minutes, those torturous seconds, with no anesthesia.

Bloody visions filled my head.

All of those bodies strewn out across the ground like some terrible Greek tragedy.  They ran on repeat, those vile visions, burned into my mind, branded there for the duration.

And when my head wasn't filled with gory visions, it was filled with the most torturous, bittersweet memories.





My phone chimed a message at me as the gate agent let me onto the jet bridge.  This flying commercial business, even if it was a private charter, was more hassle than I was used to.

"Mr. Walker is running a few minutes behind, but he will be joining you shortly," the gate agent told my back.

I just nodded, thanking her for letting me know.  What were a few more minutes, when I'd already wasted forty-five minutes just getting to the plane?

I checked my phone, my mouth twisting into a grimace when I saw that the text was from Jolene.  She managed to beg to see me again, and beg for money in one short text.  Usually she tried to separate those two requests, but I kind of appreciated her brevity.  It made me feel less like a cad for occasionally f**king women that I couldn't stand when they proved to want money out of the exchange.  I far preferred to give her money as opposed to my time.

James:  I'm otherwise engaged for the foreseeable future, but contact Ben K for the money.  The usual routine.  Just tell him how much you need.

Jolene:  Thx!  Can't wait to see you again.  Last night was incredible.  Love u xoxo

I nearly rolled my eyes.  Last night had been tolerable, and I hated it when she threw out the L word.  All we'd ever shared was a predilection for rough and kinky f**king.  And she knew very well that I wouldn't be contacting her anytime soon, if ever.  More and more, hooking up with her just wore on me.  Which was sad, considering how seldom it ever even happened.  How could you get sick of a person that you saw twice a year, and only for sex?

I tucked my phone away as I approached the entrance into the aircraft.  There was no one to greet me at the door, but it didn't matter.  I knew that there was supposed to be a few passengers in coach, and that Bram Walker and I would be the only ones in first class, which wasn't hard to find.

I turned left, glancing down at my watch as I stepped into the first class cabin.

I looked up, and froze.

A tall blonde flight attendant nearly ran into me, but stopped just short, her chin tilting up to look at me.  Her eyes widened, and she froze.  She was lovely, with the palest blue eyes I'd ever seen and soft pink lips that formed a small O of surprise as she looked at me.  A very attractive pink blush colored her cheeks.  It made no sense at all, but we just stood there, frozen in place, staring at each other for a solid five minutes.

I studied her, instantly attracted, though that was an understatement.  I was enthralled.  There was something so irresistible in her eyes.  They were so pale they struck me as a hint translucent.  Pale blue eyes often came across as cold, but not hers.  Hers were clear as water, so clear I felt like I was seeing something impossible, some hint of a kindred soul peeking out, or perhaps, of a person who would complement my own proclivities.

I doubted she was a sub; the chances were just too slim, but I was certain she was suited to be one.  I felt as though I was holding her in place with just my force of will, and I loved that feeling.

My whole body felt alive, excitement pulsing through me.  It made me realize suddenly just how clinical sex had become to me—nothing more than the methodical scratching of a biological itch.

How long had this ennui had such a hold on me?  I had no idea.  I hadn't realized that I'd been suffering from it at all until just that moment.

Like waking up from a nightmare, when you hadn't known you were dreaming.

I wasn't feeling it now, though.  Not with this one.

I felt suddenly awake, suddenly alive.

This one seemed too perfect.  I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt desire like this.  How long had I just been going through the motions?  I couldn't have said, but I had a moment of absolute clarity as I stood staring at her.  I had been disinterested in way too many personal aspects of my life for far too long.  I couldn't bring myself to be upset about that, because I wasn't disinterested now.  On the contrary, I was fascinated at a glance.

Neither of us moved until I heard Bram's damned voice booming at me all the way from the jet bridge.  "James Cavendish!"

Bram was a bit obnoxious.  He was an old-time CEO at heart; from back in the day when being in charge meant you could do whatever the hell you wanted.  Nowadays it was just the opposite.  Being in charge meant that you had to be professional around your employees at all times, but Bram had never gotten that memo.  I knew he'd be drunk before we took off, even though this was a business meeting.  I would tolerate him, though and hear him out.

I could remember when he would come over to our house for dinner when I was a kid, before my parents had died.  He and my father had been close.  Because of their bond and those memories of my father laughing at his loud jokes, I'd always humor the obnoxious old bastard.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)